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December 22, 2007 11:21 AM

Bowl Preview: PapaJohns.com Bowl

PapaJohns.com Bowl

 

Date: Dec. 22, 1:00pm
Site: Birmingham, AL
Stadium: Legion Field

Teams: Southern Miss Golden Eagles (7-5) vs. #20 Cincinnati Bearcats (9-3)

Betting Line: Cincy favored by 10.5

Brief History: If you're looking for history and tradition, don't watch this game - this is only the second year of its existence. Last year, South Florida downed Eastern Carolina, 24-7. The Bowl marked the return of post-season football to the city of Birmingham, after hosting the Dixie Bowl from 1947-1948, the Hall of Fame Classic from 1977-1985 and the All-American Bowl from 1986-1990.

Fun Fact: This game will be the finale of the 18-year tenure of USM head coach Jeff Bower, who has announced his resignation. Larry Fedora, the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State, will be the Eagles' head coach in 2008.

Notable Schwag for the Players: Slingbox, Oakley sunglasses and an Armor Gear backpack. Probably a pizza or two as well, I'd think.

Preview: Surprisingly, Cincinnati and Southern Mississippi have played 14 times between 1976 and their most recent matchup, in 2004, with the Golden Eagles winning five of the past seven. If you're looking for high-powered offenses, this might not be the game for you: USM averages under 200 yards passing a game, while the Bearcats get about 150 yards rushing.

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